Submittable as Unto the Lord

Will Schmit
3 min readJun 23, 2021

an essay on process and prayer

photo by Jeremy Yap at Unsplash

SSubmittable as unto the Lord

Poets write for intimate strangers. The editors of literary magazines presume to know us when asking for poems for their magazines and then assume they know what our readers
prefer to read. It’s a highly subjective process and when you add the reading fee to the
process it can become prohibitive. Fitting into the margins of the printed page is meant to
be part mysterious and part miracle. It’s a lot like prayer.

Preparation and careful editing of a piece, so that it reads spontaneously, is encouraged,
even taught in seminars and workshops, again for nearly prohibitive fees. I’m learning this late in the game. I’m enrolled in a poetry lab for the very first time, after forty years of
writing, as part of my 69th birthday weekend. The coordinators promise it will be fun. I’m
not after fun. I seek fame and fortune. As a poet. I know, I know, the joke’s on me.

The real lesson I expect to learn is how to play well with others, how to listen with empathy.
Style, subject matter, syntax are sure to vary and my attention span and appreciation levels
are, or at least have been limited. As I said earlier it’s a lot like prayer.

Let me explain. As a member of a faith community prayer requests are part of the circuitry . Some are pretty basic; someone needs a job, someone is sick, someone is scared, and as you might imagine the prayers these request generate can become a sort of standard issue. Lord, help I’m feeling down, thank you and amen. The prayer maker is never going to dazzle the Lord with language skills so it’s best to just bare the soul, expose the heart and aim to lift the spirit.

But sometimes judgement and appraisal of the worthiness of the prayer request comes into play. It’s a lot like poetry. If someone is facing a consequence of attitude or inaction keeping
a pure response maybe more of the miracle than any divine intervention. People, like poems,
get into trouble. I get in trouble when I presume so and so should’ve done such and such. It
usually takes me a while to sort myself…



Will Schmit

Will Schmit is an Author Poet Musician Will's most recent recording Fix My Car A Spoken Word Mythology is available for streaming on Spotify and at iTunes